His wife alleged that the arrest was an effort to punish him for the book.

Dalit authors arrest for murder attempt angers activists wife alleges police plot
news Friday, June 10, 2016 - 15:39

Tamil author Durai Guna (35)  was arrested from his residence in Kulandarampattu village in Pudukottai district at 5:30 am on Friday. 

According to the neighbours, who woke up to the commotion, Durai Guna was awoken from his sleep by the police and was dragged to the police van.

His wife, Kokila (32), who was up at around 5:00 a.m. had gone out to perform her daily duties and was informed of the arrest by the neighbours. 

“He was not wearing a shirt. The neighbours tell me that he requested the cops to give him time and that he will wear a shirt and head towards the van. But they blatantly refused and dragged him to the van,” claims Kokila, adding that there was no warrant shown at the time of arrest.

Durai Guna's first novel 'Oorar Varaindha Ooviyam’ on untouchability had angered caste Hindus in his village, and many cases were filed against the author.

His wife alleged that the arrest was an effort to punish him for the book.

Kokila also said that she went to the Karambakudi police station where Durai Guna was kept locked, the Inspector Sagayam Anbarasan refused to let her meet her husband, and told her that the arrest has been made for alleged murder. The police told her a story of how her husband struck someone with a knife and that the 'victim' was recovering in the hospital. Inspector Anbarasan, however, refused to share the details of the "victim".

Superintendent of Police of Pudukottai said that the quarrel was over a loan and Durai and a friend had allegedly attacked the loan defaulter.

“I requested him so many times to let me have a word with my husband. When he refused I argued with him to show me the warrant, only to receive flak. He retorted with comments like, ‘You talk too much’ and ‘Don’t talk about these things here,’” alleged Kokila.

“My husband hasn’t been venturing out much after he started writing full-time. He is the kind of person who does not want to draw unwanted attention, and likes to stay as far as possible from any kind of trouble. He is inside our house almost all 24 hours. This is an accusation that lacks logic. They simply want to put the blame on him so that they can keep him locked,” asserts the wife. 

“I strongly suspect that the arrest is due to the careful planning by the Inspector himself. He has been turning a blind eye to all our complaints over the last two years. But was quick to assume we were at fault whenever a complaint was made against us,” says Kokila. 

In 2014, the inspector had been told by the High Court to enquire about why Durai Guna's father had been attacked. The family had been facing threats after the release of the book in July 2014.

‘Oorar Varaindha Ooviyam’  revolves around Shankar, a Dalit agricultural labourer who faces problems of untouchability from caste-Hindu Kallars, who are better educated and are also economically well off. Durai Guna has been facing several problems himself, because of the book and has also been ostracized by his own community. As on Friday, there are eight-pending case against the author with regard to his novel.

“My husband was born in the neighbouring Kaatuviduvi village. He has been living in this village for over 30-years now and they still see him as a outsider. My own community doesn’t believe that we are one of them. What support can I expect from others?” says his wife.

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.